London’s Air Ambulance proud to be celebrating milestone with Duke of Cambridge
London’s Air Ambulance staff are “so proud” to be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the service being founded with the Duke of Cambridge, the charity’s medical director has said.
William, a former pilot for the East Anglia Air Ambulance, will meet emergency responders on Wednesday to mark the occasion.
London’s Air Ambulance is a “global leader” in emergency response, according to the charity’s medical director Dr Gareth Davies.
The service has treated nearly 40,000 patients since its inception according to Dr Davies, who added: “We have actually stopped counting the number of patients that have had their lives saved.”
London’s Air Ambulance, which currently has two helicopters that operate between 8am and sunset, takes “the hospital out into the street”, according to Dr Davies.
“Every day, the group of patients we are treating are those that are literally in the dying process,” he added.
“We are very fortunate to be able to be involved in that and try to turn it around.”
London’s Air Ambulance performed the first roadside open heart surgery, according to the charity, and crews can also carry out blood transfusions and administer general anaesthetic away from the hospital.
The charity’s responders have been on scene for some of the worst incidents in the capital over the last three decades including the Bishopsgate IRA bombing in 1993 and the 1999 Paddington train crash.
However, Dr Davies said the day of the 7/7 terror attacks in 2005 was the biggest in the charity’s history.
He added: “That really stretched the emergency services and ourselves because we have never had to deal with four major incidents at once.”
The day had a “major impact” on rescue staff, he said.
William will meet London’s Air Ambulance responders on the same day that the charity was founded in 1989.
Dr Davies said: “I think having the Duke of Cambridge visit us on our birthday is really fantastic.
“We are so proud to have him join us on that day and support us in celebrating this landmark.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has marked the occasion by praising the charity’s work.
He said: “London’s Air Ambulance provides life-saving care to the most seriously injured people in our capital.
“Thanks to the generosity of the public, this inspiring team have been able to help save the lives of countless patients over the last three decades and I look forward to seeing them continue their great work for many years to come.”
London’s Air Ambulance treat an average of five people each day and common incidents crews attend include car crashes, stabbings, shootings and falls, the charity said.
In addition to their two helicopters, London’s Air Ambulance also operates rapid response cars which run at night and during bad weather.